Spelling Bee Drama!


It doesn’t get any better than this!

New Yorker Sriram Hathwar, 14, and Texan Ansun Sujoe, 13, spelled to a tie at the Scripps National Spelling Bee, the first in more than 50 years.

After going five rounds without either missing a word, bee pronouncer Jacques Bailly declared them co-champions.

“I think we both knew that the competition was against the dictionary, not each other,” Sriram said afterward. “I’m happy to share this trophy with him”

“I’m really shocked,” Ansun said. “First, I’m going to take rest and then pretend everything’s normal.”

During the final round, Sriram spelled “stichomythia,” which means a dialogue, especially of an altercation. Ansun nailed “feuilleton,” defined as part of a European newspaper devoted to “material designed to entertain the general reader.”

The spelling bee rules dictate that once three contestants are left, the pronouncer begins using a championship list of 25 words. If those words run out before a winner emerges, a tie is declared.

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